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CHAN 10828
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CHAN 10828

Sibelius: King Christian II . Pelleas et Melisande . Swanwhite

The Classical Shop
release date: July 2014

Originally recorded in 1992


Iceland Symphony Orchestra

Petri Sakari


Haskolabio, Reykjavik, Iceland


Chris Webster

Brian Couzens



Bjarni Runar Bjarnason

Thorir Steingrimsson


Record Label
Chaconne Classics


Orchestral & Concertos


Total Time - 78:40
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Suite from 'Pelleas et Melisande', Op. 46 (1904-05)

  Incidental music to the play by Maurice Meaterlinck (1862-1949)  
1 I At the castle gate. Grave e largamente 3:36
2 II Mélisande. Andantino con moto 4:24
  Dadi Kolbeinsson cor anglais  
3 IIA At the seashore. Adagio 2:16
4 III A spring in the park. Comodo 2:18
5 IV The three blind sisters. Tranquillo 2:34
6 V Pastorale. Andantino pastorale 1:58
7 VI Mélisande and the spinning-wheel. Con moto 2:02
8 VII Entr'acte. Allegro 2:52
9 VIII The death of Mélisande. Andante 6:31

Suite (excerpts) from 'Swanwhite', Op. 54 (1908-09)

  Incidental music to the play Svanevit by August Strindberg (1849-1912)  
10 II The harp. Largo 4:05
  Monika Abendroth harp  
11 III The maidens with the roses. Lento assai 3:10
12 V The Prince alone. Andante sostenuto 4:28
13 VI Swanwhite and the Prince. Allegretto 3:43
14 VII Song of praise. Largo 3:24
  premiere recording*  

Suite from 'King Christian II', Op. 27 (1898)

  Incidental music to the play Kung Kristian II by Adolf Paul (1863-1943)  
15 I Nocturne. Molto moderato 7:26
16 II(A) Elegie. Andante sostenuto 5:16
17 II(B) Musette. Allegretto 2:15
18 III Menuetto. Non troppo lento* 2:01
19 IV The Fool's Song. Moderato 4:12
  Sauli Tiilikainin baritone  
20 V Serenade. Moderato assai (Quasi menuetto) 4:55
21 VI Ballade. Allegro - Poco largamente - Vivace - Stretto - 5:14
  TT 79:38      
 Petri Sakari
  6-9 October 1992  

Appearing on the Chandos Classics label, this reissue features performances of incidental music by Jean Sibelius, recorded in 1992 by Petri Sakari and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra. On its original release, the reviewer in Gramophone wrote: ‘I cannot remember having enjoyed this music more. Petri Sakari’s performance is totally unaffected, plain and full of enthusiasm; the players sound as if they are enjoying this score and communicate their pleasure.’ Sakari’s recordings with this orchestra during the 1990s made a significant contribution to the discography of Scandinavian music, notably of works by Grieg, Sibelius, and Madetoja.
Sibelius composed the score for King Christian II, a play by his friend Adolf Paul, in 1898 and it anticipates the richly romantic sound of the First Symphony. Here the usual suite is expanded by the inclusion of two movements from the incidental music not usually heard: the ‘Menuetto’ and ‘The Fool’s Song’.
Maurice Maeterlinck’s much-performed yet complex psychological drama Pelléas et Mélisande inspired works by Debussy, Fauré, Schoenberg, and Sibelius whose incidental music consists mainly of interludes in a uniquely dark, subdued, and typically Nordic vein.

Altogether sweeter is the delicate and poetic score for Swanwhite, August Strindberg ‘idealistic play of pure beauty’. Sibelius condensed the original music into a charming concert suite of seven movements, five of which are recorded here. 

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